“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Engineers, scientists, architects, designers, and other professionals are hardwired to make things. But at IIT, the concept of making things takes on a special meaning. An impressive quality of IIT alumni, students, and faculty is that they don’t settle for average, or even good. They see the world a bit differently—and work to make things better.
A quality education provides the skills that enable progress, but motivation and passion are the drivers of transformational change. Motivation and passion are imbedded within the culture of IIT. Examples date from the founding of the university to its revival, credited to the late Robert Galvin and Robert Pritzker (IE ’46) [see page 30], and are visible in our next wave of innovators and leaders, some of whom are featured in this issue.
Our students have not only high test scores, but also the enthusiasm to test their ideas over and over—even if it means a few failures along the way—in order to find the most innovative solution. We are attracting faculty who are not only inspired to develop bold research, but who also inspire our students to aim for greatness, both personally and academically. Our alumni are not only leaders in multiple areas of innovation, but also further the legacy of innovation by fostering leadership and excellence within others.
This issue highlights just a few of the many alumni, students, and faculty who are making things work better. Whether improving upon a prior invention, finding a creative new use for an existing product, or applying lessons from one area of life to find success in another, they prove that a good idea combined with passion and motivation can lead to things that change the world. They are truly following Emerson’s advice.
John L. Anderson